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Can opposition DPP bounce back amid intra-party squabbles?

The once mighty Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is slowly sliding into an incessant legal battlefield. Unfortunately political quandaries require political solutions.

The intra-party squabbles reflect badly on the quality of leadership of DPP. Does the party have structures to discipline those who don’t adhere to the ethos of the party.

Chaponda replaces Nankhumwa

It remains mind boggling why the party should be surviving on court injunctions which are basically temporary reliefs in nature.

There are two major problems that President of DPP, Prof Arthur Mutharika must show leadership namely the position of leader of opposition and the torchbearer of DPP for presidential election in 2025.

As for the leader of opposition, the party allowed the Speaker of the National Assembly to temporarily appoint Kondwani Nankhumwa. This was revealed by Nankhumwa himself. Why did DPP allow this anomaly. The Speaker strategically chose a weak leader of opposition for the benefit of the ruling party.

In my view, this was DPP’s mistake. It is the party, not the Speaker, with the largest number of Members of Parliament that chooses the leader of opposition.

Now that Kondwani Nankhumwa has tasted all the delicacies of being leader of opposition, you want to remove him. This is why those who are the beneficiaries of Nankhumwa’s leadership will not give up easily.

On his performance as the leader of opposition, Kondwani Nankhumwa has discharged his duties poorly. Perhaps, he may be serving two masters, the interest of the Speaker and that of DPP.

Under the leadership of Kondwani Nankhumwa, it was the first time, the whole budget was passed within two hours without any critical scrutiny.

Furthermore, we have never seen Kondwani Nankhumwa as the leader of opposition being aggressive against rampant corruption, inflation, nepotism, tribalism, cronyism, high cost of living and hypocrisy propagated by the Tonse Alliance regime. For sure, Malawi deserves a better leader of opposition.

I am mesmerised at the speed of Nankhumwa’s beneficiaries as to expeditiously obtain a court injunction. Before the Speaker announced her decision on Hon. George Chaponda’s case, they have already rushed to the court. Separation of powers denotes that the court should not interfere with the operations of the National Assembly. The court is not supposed to make decisions on behalf of the Speaker.

Let me then tackle on the succession plan of DPP. Let’s go back to the genesis of the fracas.

Hon. Kondwani Nankhumwa was one of the DPP members who supported Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika who was then hand picked and groomed by his elder brother, Prof. Bingu wa Mutharika. This was the same reason Dr. Joyce Banda was excommunicated from the party.

It seems that it is the legacy of the party for the outgoing president to appoint his own preferred successor who later competes with others at an elective convention. APM might be right to appoint Dr. Dalitso Kabambe as a possible DPP torchbearer in 2025 presidential elections.

If Kondwani Nankhumwa respected Bingu’s choice, why can’t he do the same with APM’s preference. Is it because Kondwani Nankhumwa is an interested and aspiring presidential candidate now? Then he must be prepared to face the same music like the way Hon. Chimunthu Banda was frustrated.

This is a lesson to politicians. If you tolerate bad policies now, they will haunt you later.

All in all, if DPP is serious on bouncing back, it must put its house in order even excommunicating naughty members. In the recent court ruling of Namalomba vs Nankhumwa case, the court confirmed that political parties are just like clubs and those who don’t subscribe to the rules and policies of the party can honorably leave.

There must be a strong leader of opposition who will keep on providing checks and balances on the government for the good of Malawians.

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